Tributes pour in for True Blood actor who has died aged 39

He was a popular character on the vampire show

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True Blood star Nelsan Ellis has died aged 39, his manager has confirmed.

The actor, best known for portraying Lafayette Reynolds in the popular HBO series, passed away after complications with heart failure.

Nelsan played Layfette on the series (Credit: PA)

His manager Emily Gerson Saines confirmed the news to the Press Association.

She had earlier told US website The Hollywood Reporter: “Nelsan has passed away after complications with heart failure.

“He was a great talent, and his words and presence will be forever missed.”

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Ellis appeared in True Blood throughout its seven-series run after first appearing as the cook at Merlotte’s Grill in 2008.

He also had roles in The Help in 2011 and most recently appeared in CBS show Elementary.

Among those paying tribute to Ellis were his True Blood co-stars.

Kristin Bauer wrote on Instagram: “One of the sweetest most talented men I’ve ever met. A terrible loss for all of us. Rest In Peace Nelsan. You will be missed. I don’t know how else to put words to this terribly sad news…”

Michael McMillian said he was “stunned, devastated by the terrible news” in a post on Twitter.

He added Ellis was a “genius and a beautiful soul”.

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Denis O’Hare said he was “very disturbed and sad that Nelsan Ellis has died. Such a huge talent. Such a wonderful man. The world is a poorer place today…”

Other figures from the world of entertainment paid tribute to Ellis, including The Weeknd, who said he was “a great and underrated actor”.

Jessica Chastain said he was a “spectacular man”.

“We didn’t even scratch the surface of seeing what this artist was capable of,” she said in a Twitter post.